There’s strong evidence that Hotel Unique in São Paulo, Brazil is appropriately named. Where else have you a hotel that resembles a half watermelon sitting on a food stand? The 94-room property has green-weathered copper stretching across the façade works to contain the unusual shape of the building. Curved walls and expansive spaces allow for internationally-amassed statement pieces and contemporary art. The rooftop terrace includes a crimson infinity pool and bar. The location is in the upscale residential area of Jardins. There are 10 meeting rooms, one extra room with a lobby view, and it can accommodate up to 1,000 people for reception. Book an event for up to 50 people and get a secial rate which includes room hire, in-room service, A/V equipment, lunch and two coffee breaks.
Last minute summer getaway plans for yourself or your group? Gaylord Hotels has an enticing offer, even if you can only book three to seven days in advance, as longs as the stays are by August 31. The deal varies by the hotel. Save up to 15% when you book Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, TN at least a week in advance. Book either the Gaylord Palms Resort (Kissimmee, FL) or the Gaylord Texan Resort (Dallas/Ft Worth, TX) at least 14 days in advance and receive 15% off. You can earn 20% in savings by booking Gaylord National Resort in Washington DC just three days out. Make sure you provide the promotional code: ADP.
Book at least 15 rooms per night at Shula’s Hotel & Golf Club in Miami Lakes, FL by September 30 and receive a $109 room rate with a $60 per person complete meeting package including breakfast, lunch, AM & PM breaks. You’ll also receive a $100 Spa credit or Tee Times for four at Shula’s 18-hole Championship Senator Course at Shula’s Golf Club. The offer is good for a two-night stay and a minimum F&B for 25. Maria.Pellitero@GrahamHospitality.com
PROPERTIES DRESS UP
Bravo to The Omni King Edward Hotel‘s completed $6.5 million renovation of the elegant and historic Crystal Ballroom. Although the Toronto, Canada hotel originally opened in 1903, the 17th floor Crystal Ballroom debuted in 1922. “This project centered around restoring a significant space in Toronto’s history; a space which played an integral part in bolstering its colourful social life,” said Christophe Le Chatton, general manager of The Omni King Edward Hotel. The room retains the moldings, high coffered ceilings and the floor-to-ceiling windows that offer panoramic views of the lake and the city. New highlights include a pre-function space finished in mosaic tile. A new permanent bar and carpet are inspired by the designs of the 1920’s, as are the surrounding chandeliers and wall sconces embellished with ornate crystal elements. The 5,000 sf Crystal Ballroom can accommodate up to 300 people.
www.omnihotels.com; (416) 863-9700
When Half-Mile Farm in Highlands, NC reopens in June, the luxury country inn will have received a facelift by Old Edwards Hospitality Group that was begun two years ago. Enhancements include 12 luxury guestrooms that will be finalized by October, a second dining room/special event space for meals or receptions, an expanded pool deck, and a Garden House with panoramic window-walls and fireplace. The new lodging building connects to the existing buildings via a covered walkway and elevator. It replicates the design of existing buildings. Guestrooms will have balconies overlooking the woods.
$26 million is being pumped into the transformation of The Omni Charlotte Hotel. Inspired by Charlotte’s reputation as a top banking center and its unique history with precious metals (think of the discovery of a 17-pound gold nugget), the hotel guestrooms will be redone in rich gold and silver tones. All 374 rooms are being refurbished and the hotel’s rooftop pool deck is being redesigned, adding an additional 3,000 sf of space for the new bar and grill. The hotel façade is being enclosed in a glass exterior as well as linear panels on the ceiling with a reflective metal wall, designed to present a stronger street presence.
Gaylord National Resort has opened the Riverview Ballroom, with 16,000 sf of pillar-less event space; 10,000 sf of outdoor event space; and 270 degrees of floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the Potomac River.
Omni Hotels & Resorts partnered with Turner Broadcasting in 2000 to acquire the hotel’s south tower and build the 600-room north tower, which opened in 2003. Now Omni Hotels & Resort has bought out Time Warner. The property, which has a new seamless connection to the CNN Center, Georgia World Congress Center, and the College Football Hall of Fame, contains 1,059 guest rooms and suites, 45 meeting rooms with more than 120,000 sf of function space, including a 19,864 sf Grand Ballroom.
RAMSAY TELLS GUESTS TO GO TO HELL(’S KITCHEN)
Celebrated multi-Michelin star Chef Gordon Ramsay thinks hosting your next meeting or event at his new Hell’s Kitchen in Caesars Palace Las Vegas will fire up your attendees! The fifth of Ramsay’s Las Vegas restaurants and yet another partnership with Caesars Entertainment, Hell’s Kitchen is being designed by Jeffrey Beers International to be an experiential and immersive destination restaurant, as if guests are participating in his TV show, Hell’s Kitchen. The restaurant begins construction this summer and is expected to open this winter. “Fans of the show have been asking us to bring a Hell’s Kitchen restaurant to life since day one, so I’m thrilled to finally be doing it here at Caesars Palace,” said Ramsay. “A key element of the show’s success has always been the diners’ experience, so we are excited for guests in Las Vegas to feel like they too are part of the show – flames and all.” The restaurant will seat nearly 300 guests, feature indoor and Strip-adjacent patio dining and offer a daily themed brunch, dinner and spirited bar menu. Many of the menu items have been spotlighted on cast/chef creations from the TV show, now entering its 17th season.
PUT ON A HAPPY FACE…OR A LOGO…OR YOUR BRAND
I’ve seen branding on pillows, table tops, or cast upon walls. I’ve seen Batman’s logos flashed across Gotham in the movies, but I’ve never seen a logo, brand or message shot across the skyline for mere mortals. The Omni Dallas Hotel’s new “Book a Meeting, Brand the Dallas Skyline” has altered my perception of the possibilities. Though it has displayed colorful holiday lights since its 2011 opening, for the first time and for every meeting or event booked, the hotel can now brand the iconic downtown Dallas skyline with the company’s logo or message, thanks to their exterior LED-lighting system, featuring 6,660 individual LED-light fixtures at three feet each. For those of you as math oriented as me (NOT!), that’s a total of nearly 20,000 linear feet, or the equivalent to 3.8 miles of lights. The Omni Dallas Hotel has 142,000 sf of space and 41 meeting rooms, accommodating up to 2,500 attendees. The skybridge offers meeting planners and convention-goers convenient access to more than 2.1 million sf of meeting space at the Dallas Convention Center.
Empire Resorts, Inc plans to open a resort casino as part of a $1.2 billion four-season destination resort located in Sullivan County, New York. Anticipated date for the launch of Resorts World Catskills, formerly known as Montreign Resort Casino, is March, 2018.
Last month, a subsidiary of Empire entered into a license agreement to rebrand the resort casino, formerly referred to as Montreign Resort Casino, as a Resorts World property. Resorts World Catskills’ name honors the Catskills region where Sullivan County is located. When open, the resort casino is expected to include 332 all-suite luxury rooms, two indoor pools, spa and fitness center, and an Italian steakhouse created by celebrity Chef Scott Conant. It is also expected to have 2,000-seat event center.
When Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, the 133,500-ton Carnival Horizon, sets sail in Europe on April 2, 2018, the 3,934-passenger vessel will be the first in the fleet to feature Dr. Seuss WaterWorks, a vibrant water park inspired by the whimsical world and words of the legendary children’s author. The themed water park builds on the fleetwide Seuss at Sea program, an exclusive partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises that features immersive onboard Dr. Seuss-themed youth, family, dining and entertainment experiences. Two distinct slides will be located on Deck 12. The Cat in the Hat slide, with the entrance resembling his famous red and white hat, will feature an enclosed raft slide offering more than 450 feet of heart-racing twists and turns. The Fun Things slide will be an enclosed body slide with whimsical polka dots and special lighting effects, named after the mischievous duo Thing 1 and Thing 2. Other fun adventures await families in Carnival’s first family-oriented water park, but it’s not the only family fun being created. Look for the groundbreaking bike-ride-in-the-sky attraction called SkyRide, an IMAX Theatre and the SportSquare outdoor recreation area with a suspended ropes course. Carnival Horizonsets sail from Barcelona with a 13-day Mediterranean cruise, the first of four from this port before repositioning to the U.S. with a 14-day trans-Atlantic crossing from Barcelona to New York, May 9-23, 2018.
www.carnival.com; (800) CARNIVAL
Look for a November official opening for Flamingo Las Vegas, after the completion of a $90 million renovation. Caesars Entertainment says the complete renovation of all 1,270 guest rooms at the Las Vegas property will be completed by late 2018. “Flamingo Las Vegas is an iconic resort filled with 70 years of rich history and unforgettable experiences,” said Bob Morse, president of hospitality for Caesars Entertainment. “The renovated rooms pay homage to the property’s past, while also giving it a fresh and modern new look.” Inspired by the glitter and shine of champagne, the hues of gold and bright pops of flamingo pink will echo throughout the rooms.
Mainsail Lodging & Development hopes the opening of their Oxbow Bar & Grill, a new waterfront restaurant in downtown Fort Myers, FL will coincide with their recently announced Luminary Hotel. Located in the city-owned pier building, the new 150-seat casual restaurant development on the Caloosahatchee will also feature retail space and rental services including kayaks, paddleboards, motorized watercraft and bicycles for exploring downtown streets and waterways.
Can you believe we are already talking about a property opening in 2021? Yet, it’s true. Omni Hotels & Resorts anticipates a 2021 opening date for the projected Omni Boston Hotel, a 1,000-plus room hotel on Summer Street in South Boston’s Waterfront District. The hotel is expected to have a luxury spa, elevated pool deck, fitness center, 100,000 sf of flexible meeting and event space, including a 25,000 sf ballroom.
YOU BOOK A MEETING AND A FAMILY OF FOUR GETS FED!
Last November, Omni Hotels & Resorts began a program called Say Goodnight to Hunger. The success of that program and the impact it has made—so far providing nearly 8.4 million meals to Feeding America, has caused the luxury hotel chain to permanently extend the program. The details are simple. Every booking by a meeting planner at any of Omni’s 60 North American properties will result in a donation to Feeding America that feed a family of four, dinner. For instance, if a group or association books 100 rooms for four nights, Omni will donate 400 meals to Feeding America through its Say Goodnight to Hunger initiative. “We received a lot of feedback that Say Goodnight to Hunger should be permanently extended to groups, as many are looking for ways to be involved in the communities where they are holding their meetings and events. Some of our properties have taken it a step further, and have created team building events with the local food banks as another way for groups staying with us to give back,” says Peter Strebel, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of sales for Omni Hotels & Resorts. The program has had an emotional impact on employees. Nearly 5,000 Omni associates have donated 7,705 hours of their personal time back into the communities where they live and work.
Karen Kuzsel is a writer-editor based in the Orlando area who specializes in the hospitality, entertainment, meetings & events industries. She is an active member of ILEA and MPI and is now serving on the 2016 – 2017 MPI Global Advisory Board for The Meeting Professional Magazine for the second consecutive year. Karen writes about food & wine, spas, destinations, venues, meetings & events. A career journalist, she has owned magazines, written for newspapers, trade publications, radio and TV. As her alter-ego, Natasha, The Psychic Lady, she is a featured entertainer for corporate and social events. firstname.lastname@example.org; www.ThePsychicLady.com; @karenkuzsel; @thepsychiclady.